The magazine of the photo-essay
Jan/Feb 2021 issue
Holzbachtal, nothing, nothing
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
Deep in the Black Forest, in the Holzbach Valley, lies the refugee shelter H8, where refugees have lived for over twenty years. The Holzbach Valley is not a place; it is only a road, a stream, in the middle of the forest. The men have nothing to do there except wait, sleep, cook, use their mobile phones. If they are fortunate, after a few months they can attend an integration course in the next large town. If they are unfortunate,they wait in vain. For three years, Sibylle Fendt regularly visited and photographed the young men there. For three years, she waited with them and let time pass. For three years, she sat with them in their rooms behind closed curtains while the beautiful Black Forest landscape transpired outside.
by Sibylle Fendt
“Outside,the beautiful Black Forestscenery was unfolding,so familiar to me, but of complete insignificance to the inhabitants. They built themselves dens, small shelters covered by fabrics, in which they drank tea, smoked and used their mobile phones to keep in touch with relatives and friends, to access their familiar world, and to connect with their desires and dreams. Usually I was welcome, I was often invited to dinner and was allowed to passthe time in their company. Every so often however – possibly in moments when they became too aware of their hopeless situation and felt a sense of shame – they wanted to be alone. “So I spent time with them and tried to learn to simply let time pass by and find meaning in the here and now or in the nothingness and take pictures that reflect this.” – Sibylle Fendt
Aubakary Kuyateh, February 2018.
Satellite Dish, August 2016.
Curtain, October 2018.
Lamin Cham, December 2017. Lamin is waiting for his friend Mohammed to make their way together to the supermarket 4km away.
Aso Dizayee, September 2016.
Sezar Krout, September 2016.
Breakfast, July 2016.
Hasibullah Gholamnabi, September 2016. Hisib received this robe for the Feast of Breaking the Fast from his parents by mail.
Kitchen Window, February 2015. As there is no moibile phone reception in the house the only way to receive calls is to hold the mobile phone out of the wndow.
Mohammed Swaleh, October 2018. Mohammed dreams of a czareer as a footballer. Currently, he is playing in the 1st men’s team of TV Grafenhausen.
Pressure Cookers, Septmber 2016.
Alaa Safar, December 2016.
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